George Grosz: The Stick Men

May 11, 2024 - September 1, 2024

George Grosz
Battalion of the Hole
Watercolor, color reed pen and pen and ink on paper
Collection Judin, Berlin

George Grosz (1893–1959) created the “Stick Men” series in Huntington, New York, where he lived from 1947 until shortly before his death. Featuring hollow figures in an apocalyptic landscape, this group of watercolors offers a searing indictment of humanity following World War II, the Holocaust, and the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Grosz was an internationally renowned German-born artist who remained invested in political art following his immigration to the United States in 1933. In the “Stick Men” series, he wrestles with the emergence of Abstract Expressionism and reaffirms the ability of painting to impact society. 

This focused exhibition will be the first dedicated to the “Stick Men” series since it debuted in New York City at the Associated American Artists galleries in 1948. Seventy-five years later, Grosz’s warning against fascism and global conflict is as relevant as ever.  

CONTENT ADVISORY: Before choosing to engage with this exhibition, please know that it includes imagery of violence and war. Grosz rendered emaciated and wounded figures in an abstracted, expressionistic style. Some compositions include the silhouettes of distant figures hanging from nooses. A watercolor entitled The Holocaust depicts a corpse.

George Grosz: The Stick Men was organized by Das Kleine Grosz Museum in Berlin, where it was on view from May through October 2023. At The Heckscher Museum, the expanded exhibition will include additional works from our collection, including Grosz’s masterwork Eclipse of the Sun (1926). It will also feature loans from the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College, the Harvard Art Museums, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. An exhibition catalogue is available.

Pien and Hans Bosch
Andrea B. and Peter D. Klein
Rapaport-Shallat Foundation
Richard Cunniff, Jr.
Priscilla and Robert Hughes

George Grosz: The Stick Men Catalog

George Grosz: The Stick Men Exhibition Catalog

Accompanying the George Grosz: The Stick Men exhibition is an illustrated 152-page hardcover book in German and English. A collaboration between The Heckscher Museum of Art and Das kleine Grosz Museum, Berlin, where the exhibition debuted, the publication explores the history, context, and legacy of George Grosz’s Stick Men series, which he completed in Huntington, NY, after World War II.

The publication includes essays by Pay Matthis Karstens, Ph.D., and Juerg Judin, Ph.D., at Das kleine Grosz Museum (“George Grosz’s Stick Men”), and Karli Wurzelbacher, Ph.D., Chief Curator at The Heckscher Museum of Art (“’Demons in the Suburbs’ George Grosz on Long Island”).

$35 for Heckscher Museum Members
$45 for Non-Members
Plus shipping via USPS

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